The Pull of the Stars
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Three days in a maternity ward at the height of the Great Flu. The Pull of the Stars is the Sunday Times Bestseller from the acclaimed author of The Wonder and Room.
‘An immersive, unforgettable fever-dream of a novel’ – The Times
The old world dying on its feet, a new one struggling to be born . . .
Dublin, 1918. In a country doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse Julia Power works at an understaffed hospital in the city centre, where expectant mothers who have come down with an unfamiliar flu are quarantined together. Into Julia’s regimented world step two outsiders: Doctor Kathleen Lynn, on the run from the police, and a young volunteer helper, Bridie Sweeney.
In the darkness and intensity of this tiny ward, over the course of three days, these women change each other’s lives in unexpected ways. They lose patients to this baffling pandemic, but they also shepherd new life into a fearful world. With tireless tenderness and humanity, carers and mothers alike somehow do their impossible work.
In The Pull of the Stars, Emma Donoghue tells an unforgettable and deeply moving story of love and loss.
Shortlisted for the An Post Irish Book Awards — Eason Novel of the Year
The Telegraph’s ‘Best Novels of 2020’
Guardian’s ‘Brilliant Books to Transport You This summer’, ‘Best Books of 2020’
Cosmopolitan’s ‘Best Books to Read this summer’
Stylist’s ‘Best summer Reads
A vivid story set over three days on a maternity ward in a country being torn apart by both war and disease . . . The Pull of the Stars has a fever dream-like quality. Emotions run high and relationships quickly become intense, as we have seen they do in a pandemic . . . as a tender record of humans coping as best they can with a pandemic, it’s about as moving and absorbing as it gets * Evening Standard * Donoghue’s searing tale . . . Her blunt prose and detailed, painstakingly researched medical descriptions do full justice to the reality of the pandemic and the poverty that helps fuel it. Donoghue’s evocation of the 1918 flu, and the valor it demands of health-care workers, will stay with readers * Publishers Weekly * Certainly, the currency of The Pull of the Stars gives it a gripping edge, but at its heart this is a story about friendship, love and compassion in extraordinary times . . . It’s an engrossing read. Donoghue’s writing is visceral and her female characters strike a powerful chord of humanity that stays with you * Australian Women’s Weekly * With an urgency that brilliantly captures the high-stakes horror and exhilaration of life on a pandemic’s front lines, the Room author centres her latest spine-tingler on a maternity ward nurse charged with keeping new mothers-and herself-safe as the 1918 Great Flu sweeps Ireland. One of the Emerald Isle’s most glittering literary lights, Donoghue here delivers a historical fiction turned timely reminder of human resilience * Oprah Magazine, ‘Best Books of Summer 2020’ * [Julia and Bridie’s] relationship forms the emotional core of a story rich in swift, assured sketches of achingly human characters coping as best they can in extreme circumstances . . . Darkly compelling, illuminated by the light of compassion and tenderness: Donoghue’s best novel since Room * Kirkus (starred review) * Donoghue offers vivid characters and a gripping portrait of a world beset by a pandemic and political uncertainty. A fascinating read in these difficult times. * Booklist * Timely, punchy and gripping * Evening Standard * Remarkably prescient * Irish Independent * A timely, exquisite and unputdownable reminder of love and compassion in the smallest room where women are giving birth and other women are dying and yet love – in all its joy and complexity – still finds a place — Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry Emma Donoghue’s latest is getting an early release, and it’s clear to understand why: In 1918 at the height of the Great Flu in Ireland, sick, pregnant women are quarantined together in a hospital while a group of overworked nurses tries to navigate their patients through the darkness * Marie Claire * Eerily reminiscent of our current global health crisis, The Pull of the Stars brings readers intimately close to a world where health care workers risk it all to keep their patients alive * Time * A visceral, harrowing, and revelatory vision of life, death, and love in a time of pandemic. This novel is stunning — Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven
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